Sanford Drive-In

1137 Main Street,
Sanford, ME 04073

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: E.M. Loew's Theaters Inc.

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Sanford Drive-In

The Sanford Drive-In was opened on May 7, 1950 with Edmund O'Brien in “Fighter Squadron” & Jack Paar in “Variety Time”. It was taken over by the E.M. Loew’s Theatres chain on November 1, 1952. It was still operating in 1976. Now the Breary Apartment complex.

Contributed by James Monroe

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

50sSNIPES on September 15, 2023 at 9:36 pm

Opened on May 7, 1950 with Edmond O'Brien in “Fighter Squadron” and Jack Paar in “Variety Time” along with an unnamed cartoon. Closed after the 1976 season.

MichaelKilgore on September 15, 2023 at 10:19 pm

A few quick clips:

The Exhibitor, June 28, 1950: “According to Samuel Horenstein, New England franchise holder, Manley’s Inc., Manley’s popcorn machines are fast taking hold in drive-ins throughout New England. Installations recently completed for the E. M. Loew Circuit include: … Sanford Drive-In, Sanford, Me.”

The Independent Film Journal, Nov. 1, 1952: “E. M. Loew has taken over lease on the Sanford Drive-In, Sanford, Me from Russell Martin.”

Boxoffice, July 15, 1968: “SANFORD, ME. - Police in this southern Maine town ordered the closing of the Sanford Drive-In because a motion picture, "Mondo Freudo,” could be seen from the highway. Police Chief John C. Pride said the showing was ordered removed because it could be seen from the highway and was considered adult entertainment only."

Biddeford Journal Tribune, Dec. 21, 2002: (reviewing Will Anderson’s Maine history book “Those Were the Days!”) “Other notable York County drive-ins included in the book are … the Sanford Drive-In on Route 109, begun by Russell Martin in 1950 and run by the E.M. Loew’s Theaters chain until 1971, when it gave way to the Breary Farms apartment complex”

50sSNIPES on September 16, 2023 at 6:46 pm

Are you sure it gave away to Breary Farms apartment complex in 1971? Archives from the Sanford Tribute still advertises the Sanford Drive-In until after the 1976 season.

kennerado on September 19, 2023 at 9:09 pm

He’s quoting a newspaper article, whoever wrote it must’ve not done very good research, historic aerial photos show it still stands in 1973 as well.

Kenmore on September 20, 2023 at 4:59 pm

A 1973 aerial shows the drive-in intact. I can’t be sure if it was operational. There is a trail leading from the road straight to the projection booth/concession stand. That’s normally a sign of a closed drive-in. But the ticket booth does straddle the trail.

A 1978 aerial shows the drive-in demolished.

A 1986 aerial shows the apartments occupying the northern half of the property, but you can still see part of the ramps on the southern half. That section of the property remained undeveloped until at least 1998.

By 2007, all traces of the drive-in were gone.

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